Sorghum is a genus of flowering plants in the grass family Poaceae.
Seventeen of the twenty-five species are native to Australia, with
the range of some extending to Africa, Asia, Mesoamerica, and certain
islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
One species is grown for grain, while many others are used as fodder
plants, either cultivated in warm climates worldwide or naturalized,
in pasture lands.
Sorghum is in the subfamily
Panicoideae and the
Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugarcane).
1 Cultivation and uses
4 See also
6 External links
Cultivation and uses
Sorghum bicolor, native to
Africa with many
cultivated forms now, is an important crop worldwide, used for
food (as grain and in sorghum syrup or "sorghum molasses"), animal
fodder, the production of alcoholic beverages, and biofuels. Most
varieties are drought- and heat-tolerant, and are especially important
in arid regions, where the grain is one of the staples for poor and
rural people. These varieties form important components of pastures in
many tropical regions. S. bicolor is an important food crop in Africa,
Central America, and South Asia, and is the fifth-most important
cereal crop grown in the world.
Some species of sorghum can contain levels of hydrogen cyanide,
hordenine, and nitrates lethal to grazing animals in the early stages
of the plants' growth. When stressed by drought or heat, plants can
also contain toxic levels of cyanide and/or nitrates at later stages
Johnson grass (S. halapense), is classified
as an invasive species in the US by the Department of Agriculture.
Sorghum is efficient in converting solar energy to chemical energy,
and also uses less water compared to other grain crops.
Biofuel, using sweet sorghum as a high sugar content from its stalk
for ethanol production, is being developed with biomass which can be
turned into charcoal, syngas, and bio-oil.
In 2018 researchers identified a mutation that affects a sorghum gene
which regulates hormone production. Plants with the mutation produced
low levels of jasmonic acid, a development-regulating hormone,
particularly during flower development.
Sorghum seeds mature from
clusters of flowers. These flowers develop from a branched structure
at the top of the plant, the panicle. Each panicle can produce
hundreds of flowers, which come in two types — sessile spikelets
(SS), which are fertile, and pedicellate spikelets (PS), which produce
no seeds. In the mutated sorghum, however, both sessile and
pedicellate spikelets produced seeds. Lab tests showed that jasmonic
acid prevents PSs from producing seeds — the lower hormone levels
allow them to become fertile. The mutation triples the plant's
A 100-gram amount of raw sorghum provides 329 calories, 72%
carbohydrates, 4% fat, and 11% protein (table).
numerous essential nutrients in rich content (20% or more of the Daily
Value, DV), including protein; fiber; the
B vitamins niacin, thiamin
and vitamin B6; and several dietary minerals, including iron (26% DV)
and manganese (76% DV) (table).
Sorghum nutrient contents generally
are similar to those of raw oats (see nutrition table). Among other
similarities to oats, sorghum contains no gluten, making it useful for
Sorghum amplum – northwestern Australia
Sorghum angustum – Queensland
Sorghum arundinaceum – Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Madagascar,
islands of western Indian Ocean
Sorghum bicolor – cultivated sorghum, often individually called
sorghum, also known as durra, jowari, or milo. - native to Sahel
region of Africa; naturalized in many places
Sorghum brachypodum – Northern Territory of Australia
Sorghum bulbosum – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum burmahicum – Thailand, Myanmar
Sorghum controversum – India
Sorghum × drummondii
Sorghum × drummondii – Sahel and West Africa
Sorghum ecarinatum – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum exstans – Northern Territory of Australia
Sorghum grande – Northern Territory, Queensland
Sorghum halepense –
Johnson grass – North Africa, islands of
eastern Atlantic, southern
Asia from Lebanon to Vietnam; naturalized
in East Asia, Australia, the Americas
Sorghum interjectum – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum intrans – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum laxiflorum – Philippines, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sulawesi,
New Guinea, northern Australia
Sorghum leiocladum – Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria
Sorghum macrospermum – Northern Territory of Australia
Sorghum matarankense – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum nitidum – East Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia,
New Guinea, Micronesia
Sorghum plumosum – Australia, New Guinea, Indonesia
Sorghum propinquum – China , Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia,
New Guinea, Christmas Island, Micronesia, Cook Islands
Sorghum purpureosericeum – Sahel from Mali to Tanzania; Yemen, Oman,
Sorghum stipoideum – Northern Territory, Western Australia
Sorghum timorense – Lesser Sunda Islands, Maluku, New Guinea,
Sorghum trichocladum – Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras
Sorghum versicolor – eastern + southern
Africa from Ethiopia to
Sorghum virgatum – dry regions from Senegal to Israel
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
1,377 kJ (329 kcal)
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Full Report of USDA Database entry
μg = micrograms • mg = milligrams
IU = International units
Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for
Formerly included
Many species once considered part of Sorghum, but now considered
better suited to other genera include: Andropogon, Arthraxon,
Bothriochloa, Chrysopogon, Cymbopogon, Danthoniopsis, Dichanthium,
Diectomis, Diheteropogon, Exotheca, Hyparrhenia, Hyperthelia,
Monocymbium, Parahyparrhenia, Pentameris, Pseudosorghum,
Schizachyrium, and Sorghastrum.
Baijiu – Chinese alcoholic beverage distilled from sorghum
List of antioxidants in food
Push–pull technology pest control strategy for maize and sorghum
^ "World Checklist of Selected
Plant Families: Royal Botanic Gardens,
Kew". Retrieved 4 September 2016.
^ Sally L. Dillon; Peter K. Lawrence; Robert J. Henry; et al. "Sorghum
laxiflorum and S. macrospermum, the Australian native species most
closely related to the cultivated S. bicolor based on ITS1 and ndhF
sequence analysis of 25
Sorghum species". SOUTHERN CROSS PLANT
SCIENCE. Southern Cross University. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
^ Moench, Conrad. 1794. Methodus Plantas Horti Botanici et Agri
Marburgensis : a staminum situ describendi page 207 in Latin
Flora of China
Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 600 高粱属 gao liang shu Sorghum
Moench, Methodus. 207. 1794
Sorghum in Flora of Pakistan @ efloras.org". Retrieved 4 September
^ Altervista Flora Italiana, genere Sorghum
^ Australia, Atlas of Living. "
Sorghum - Atlas of Living Australia".
Retrieved 4 September 2016.
^ "Sorghum". County-level distribution maps from the North American
Plant Atlas (NAPA). Biota of North America Program (BONAP). 2013.
Retrieved 4 September 2016.
^ Mutegi, Evans; Sagnard, Fabrice; Muraya, Moses; et al. (2010-02-01).
"Ecogeographical distribution of wild, weedy and cultivated Sorghum
bicolor (L.) Moench in Kenya: implications for conservation and
crop-to-wild gene flow". Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution. 57 (2):
Sorghum bicolor in
Flora of China
Flora of China @ efloras.org". Retrieved 4
^ "Sorghum". New World Encyclopedia. 12 October 2015. Retrieved 4
^ Cyanide (prussic acid) and nitrate in sorghum crops - managing the
risks. Primary industries and fisheries. Queensland Government.
http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au/4790_20318.htm. 21 April 2011.
^ Johnson Grass, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Accessed 2257 UDT, 12
^ "HudsonAlpha and collaborators expand sorghum research program -
HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology". HudsonAlpha Institute for
Biotechnology. 2017-01-25. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
^ Dweikat, Ismail (2017). "
Sweet sorghum is a drought-tolerant
feedstock with the potential to produce more ethanol/acre than corn".
Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of
Nebraska–Lincoln. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
^ "Purdue leading research using advanced technologies to better grow
sorghum as biofuel". Purdue University, Agriculture News. June 2015.
Biofuel Production". eXtension. 2017. Retrieved
^ MICU, ALEXANDRU (2018-02-26). "One tiny mutation could triple the
world's production of grain". ZME Science. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
Plant List: Sorghum". Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and Missouri
Botanic Garden. Retrieved 28 February 2017.
Watson, Andrew M. Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World:
The Diffusion of Crops and Farming Techniques, 700–1100. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1983. ISBN 0-521-24711-X.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sorghum.
Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on
"Sorghum". Encyclopædia Britannica. 25 (11th ed.). 1911.
Species Profile- Johnsongrass (
Sorghum halepense), National Invasive
Species Information Center, United States National Agricultural
Library. Lists general information and resources for Johnsongrass.
FAO Report (1995) "
Sorghum and millets in human nutrition"
Sorghum on US Grains Council Web Site
Ethanol Association, organization for the promotion and
development of sweet
Sorghum as a source for biofuels, especially
Cereals and pseudocereals
Neolithic founder crops
History of agriculture
Tell Abu Hureyra
Crop wild relative